types of plans

navigating health insurance

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what's in this lesson?

There are a few different types of health insurance plans available to you. Let’s break down the differences so you can choose one that’s right for you.

types of plans

navigating health insurance

There are a few different types of health insurance plans available to you. Let’s break down the differences so you can choose one that’s right for you.

what's in this lesson?

There are a few different types of health insurance plans available to you. Let’s break down the differences so you can choose one that’s right for you.

overview

There are a few different types of health insurance plans to look out for. Let’s break down the differences. The two most common are an HMO and a PPO.

 

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization and it’s generally your cheapest health insurance option. Typically your HMO will have low premiums and low out-of-pocket costs. One limitation of an HMO is that you’re required to choose a PCP from your network and you won’t be able to see a specialist without the referral from that PCP. If you don’t anticipate significant medical needs and your budget is tight–which is a familiar situation for many–an HMO might be right for you.

 

A PPO is generally the best quality plan in terms of benefits (you can see specialists and out-of-network doctors without a referral). But these are also the most expensive in terms of your premium. If you envision yourself needing a lot of medical care and you can afford the higher premiums, this is potentially a good choice for you.

 

Two less-common types of plans are POSs and EPOs.

 

A POS or Point of Service plan is similar to an HMO in that you need a PCP to refer you to a specialist, but the plan does cover out-of-network doctors.

 

An EPO is not a common plan type, but you’ll see it around. These generally have larger networks but operate like an HMO in that they cover only in-network care.

 

And let’s quickly cover two more types of insurance “plans” that you’ll hear about. HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and FSAs (Flexible Savings Accounts) are tax-free funds that you can pay into to help cover medical expenses as they arise over the course of the year. You can use money you’ve set aside to cover co-pays, prescriptions, and some medical equipment. Be sure to look at the options available to you by your employer–it can be nice to have some money set aside every year for your medical bills that won’t be taxed!

 

Overall, you have multiple options to choose from. What you select will generally depend on your own medical needs. Later we’re going to discuss how to think about your health insurance options.

 

Source(s): healthcare.gov

overview

There are a few different types of health insurance plans to look out for. Let’s break down the differences. The two most common are an HMO and a PPO.

 

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization and it’s generally your cheapest health insurance option. Typically your HMO will have low premiums and low out-of-pocket costs. One limitation of an HMO is that you’re required to choose a PCP from your network and you won’t be able to see a specialist without the referral from that PCP. If you don’t anticipate significant medical needs and your budget is tight–which is a familiar situation for many–an HMO might be right for you.

 

A PPO is generally the best quality plan in terms of benefits (you can see specialists and out-of-network doctors without a referral). But these are also the most expensive in terms of your premium. If you envision yourself needing a lot of medical care and you can afford the higher premiums, this is potentially a good choice for you.

 

Two less-common types of plans are POSs and EPOs.

 

A POS or Point of Service plan is similar to an HMO in that you need a PCP to refer you to a specialist, but the plan does cover out-of-network doctors.

 

An EPO is not a common plan type, but you’ll see it around. These generally have larger networks but operate like an HMO in that they cover only in-network care.

 

And let’s quickly cover two more types of insurance “plans” that you’ll hear about. HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and FSAs (Flexible Savings Accounts) are tax-free funds that you can pay into to help cover medical expenses as they arise over the course of the year. You can use money you’ve set aside to cover co-pays, prescriptions, and some medical equipment. Be sure to look at the options available to you by your employer–it can be nice to have some money set aside every year for your medical bills that won’t be taxed!

 

Overall, you have multiple options to choose from. What you select will generally depend on your own medical needs. Later we’re going to discuss how to think about your health insurance options.

 

Source(s): healthcare.gov

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